Last week, we began an interview with Jimi Emery, an educator and technology coordinator at Josiah Bartlett Elementary School (K-8) in Bartlett, NH. Their school recently received a grant to support SmartMusic and other technological initiatives, and Jimi wrote that grant. This week she continues to share her insight on the grant-writing process.
BG: Was there anything special about the grant that used to get SmartMusic?
JE: Each year, we apply for Enhancing Education through Technology (E2T2) grants our state sends out. We received funding for our music grant through this source. We connected our music and math curriculum for this grant, as well as tying our requirement to our need to increase our math scores.
BG: Am I to understand that the training I gave for the teachers and students was part of the grant?
JE: I can’t stress enough the importance of including professional development. If you receive the tools without the training they probably won’t be used. Teachers will find it too difficult and too time consuming to actually use their new tool. Job-embedded professional development has worked the best for us. The teachers have a mentor to guide them through the process, thus ensuring a more successful training.
BG: Any tips on the formatting of the grant?
JE: We try to set up our grant so it is easy to read. We use bullet statements, bold questions, italicize responses, and include tables for items such as scope of work to include completion dates for activities and who will be responsible for the activity.
BG: Any last words of advice for those seeking a grant?
JE: You need to have someone who is willing to put in hours and hours of work – someone who is passionate about the proposal. That person must believe in what they’re requesting because it will help their students be successful. That is the bottom line for all we do – it’s about the kids.
The music teachers at Josiah Bartlett would be the first to tell you that the person who fits that description is Jimi herself. I suspect it is largely because of her passion and perseverance that they received the grant.
In future blogs, you will hear how SmartMusic is working at the Josiah Bartlett Elementary School as Jimi and her colleagues have agreed to provide updates on their progress on the SmartMusic Blog.
I’d like to thank Jimi again for sharing her insight with all our friends!